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Upgrading old Weinmann brakes on my 1983 road bike

hannahntillyhannahntilly Posts: 10
edited February 2017 in Road buying advice
I've been riding MTBs for the last 10 years but I'm now trying to recommission my old Revell road bike circa 1983 (it cost about £300 then which was a lot of money). It has a Reynolds 531 frame and forks and has been stored in a dry garage unused since about 1987 so I'm hoping it's worth an upgrade.

A quick test ride this week proved it to be a revelation. It weighs 4 kg less and has skinny wheels so feels very responsive. However, it also revealed a couple major problem compared with my MTB - namely appalling brakes (Weinmann sidepulls) and quite high gearing (Suntour 10 speed components). The gearing I can live with for now but the brakes, even with careful adjustment, new rubber pads and cleaned wheel rims, are lethal.

I'm pretty handy mechanically so fancy a new set of calipers and maybe levers. What would you suggest bearing in mind that funds are tight - ideally about £50-£75. Thanks for any ideas,


  • rolf_frolf_f Posts: 16,015
    I think Tektro make the most obvious modern alternatives. For my Raleigh Record Ace I might see if I can get period Campag brakes which maybe will look the part and work a bit better but, to be honest, I don't find the Weinmans lethal! But then I only tend to use that bike for quiet weekend rides.

    Please don't ditch the Suntour (unless you are going to give it to me!) - Suntour produced the finest gears you could get at the time; forget Campagnolo Record; Suntour Superbe and Cyclone were better and lighter. You should be upgrading your legs before you spoil the bike with inferior gears!
    Faster than a tent.......
  • elcanielcani Posts: 280
    Check whether the current brakes are secured to the frame with a nut or the more modern sunken allen nut. If it's the former, you could use something like these (if the drop is right)... ... od20022/...

    Or you can drill out the frame and forks. This is easier than you'd think if you get the right drill bit and are careful.

  • Thanks for you replies. I can now confirm that the brakes are Weinmann 605 with an allen screw central adjustment and the derailleur is a Suntour V-GT luxe.

    Having done a bit more research, I think I'll try some different brake pads before replacing the calipers. The current Kool Stop ones feel pretty hard to me. I replaced them with the same sort that I used in the 1980s but I suspect that the're very old stock. They look nothing like the new Kool Stop models.

    As for the gears, they polish up nicely and do work well. The issue is that they're fairly lacking in the low range compared to my MTB. That and I'm out of practice changing gears with levers on the frame. Maybe I need to build up the old thighs a bit!
  • ive just replaced the cailabers on my old raleigh tektros fitted with a little mod to the front one ,, split it took out the center bolt replaced with one m6 long enough to go through fork with a nyloc nut instead of the mordern type ,, still a bit of flex in the old levers but a lot better than it was ,
  • Which blocks would you recommend as I'm looking for a replacement on my '85 Raleigh Royal. Thanks in advance.
  • My winter training bike is my from-new 1985 531c bike, then state of the art, now not quite that but a great bike to ride and as good for training as any of my modern road bikes.

    I replaced my suicidally poor Weinmann centre pulls with new Tektro dual pivots. I went for the R559 extra deep drop model and due to the leverage of the long arms and the position of the pads near the pivot, they are very powerful, much more so than standard deep drop tektro brakes, the R539 if I recall correctly, or even Shimano r650 deep drop brakes.

    You can get the R559 for £40, just Google it.
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